Certainly new Germantown football coach Jake Davis will sleep a lot more easily this evening.
For after not getting a wink the night before his first game at the Warhawk helm, the team went out and rewarded his hard work with a through, almost immaculate 56-0 rout of Whitnall on parents' night Friday.
"I got a couple of hours this morning but that was about it," Davis chuckled afterward. "Just too much on the mind."
The players labored hard to ease their new coach's mind.
"No, no," said senior quarterback Josh Mongan, who was eight of 11 this night for 139 yards and two TDs. "You never want to start a new coach on a bad note. It felt great. We needed to get it done right for him (Davis)."
Senior linebacker Dan Olson, who seemed to be in on every other play this night, said the effort was a reflection of the way Davis has handled himself ever since he took over earlier this year.
"We weren't nervous at all," he said, "because Davis was totally focused. He just knows what he is doing. He really showed his power tonight."
Including the power to keep a few prominent ghosts at bay, including the name on the wrought iron gate that the team passed under on the way to the field, because as everyone knows, that it's named "Datka Stadium" for a reason.
"I was so anxious about this," he said, "and I really didn't know what I'd feel when I passed under the gate, because I know I'll be seeing that name (Datka) for a long time to come."
But his mentor and Warhawk legend Phil Datka would have been proud this night. The veteran coach retired from Germantown after 41 highly successful years and is currently keeping a toe in the coaching waters working as an assistant for former Warhawk player Jamie Meulemans at Brookfield Central.
After stubbing its toe with a fumble at the Whitnall 18 yard line on its first series, the Warhawk offense never let up, scoring on six consecutive sequences, including the last three of the first half for a 21-0 lead.
Senior back Alec Richmond (15 carries for 103 yards) scored the first TD of the Davis era at the 3:27 mark of the first quarter from a yard out after a nine-play, 54-yard drive.
After the defense pushed the Falcons back five yards, the Warhawks went 55 yards in six plays as Mongan hit Louis Tuszynski on a perfect fade from five yards out. An inspiring 25-yard run from Tyler Baran set up the TD pass.
Whitnall then put together its best drive of the night, going 55 yards on 13 plays and reaching the Germantown 20. But with help from a big sack of Falcon QB Luke Mentkowski by Chasen Brown, Whitnall stalled as Tuszynski and Kieno Archiquette jarred the ball loose from the Falcons' all-state candidate receiver Stephen Pelkofer (six catches for 57 yards) in the end zone.
Germantown then turned around and put together its most impressive march of the night, going a total of 91 yards and overcoming a holding penalty to punch across its third TD of the half.
Mongan was lights' out on this sequence, hitting in quick succession Tuszynski for 22, Zack Winkler for 13, Ben Holcomb for 31 and then a bit later, Tuszynski for 12 more before Richmond went over from a yard out with just 1:37 left in the half to make it 21-0.
The Warhawk offense finished with 217 yards at the half, an encouraging start for the old center Davis, who was starting a brand-new offensive line this game.
"The line is very young but they did a great job starting out," said Davis. "It's something they can build on."
Germantown ended any drama early in the third quarter. Brown turned in a sensational kickoff return to the Whitnall six and two plays later, Richmond scored his last TD from three yards out.
Then a sequence later, Mongan finished a quick, two-play, 50-yard effort with a perfect 36-yard deep out pass to Tuszynski (five catches for 84 yards).
That put the score at 35-0 and Davis then quickly put in the reserves. They too helped their coach as quarterback Dan Studer led them to two TDs, including a three-yard TD run by Nick Thiel and a 21-yard scamper by Logan Gruber (51 yards on nine carries).
The defense even got into the act as lineman Shane Calllewaert scooped up a fumble and rumbled 33-yards for a TD.
All told the Germantown defense held Whitnall to minus five yards and no first downs in the second half.
Like Olson said, Davis had the Warhawks prepared.
"This was fun," he said. "This is the way we're capable of playing when we get going. We took it to the limit tonight."
Whitnall coach Rob Le Bouef was not completely unahppy with his team's effort as he looked at it as an important lesson.
"They're double our enrollment and can go two-platoon while a lot of our guys have to go two ways," he said. "We wanted this level of competition. I was proud of the way we handled ourselves in light of that. This'll show us that we have to step up to the level of competition."
Meanwhile, Davis will have to remind his giddy troops that the level of competition will certainly get much more difficult in the future.
"I was just so proud of these kids," he said. "Ever since we began the transition (after Datka's retirement), they have been doing everything that we've asked. It was just a great way to start."
"We wanted to come out business-like and we did," he added. "The kids really took care of business."
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